So Capello stays on until 2012. Here’s a hope: That he uses the next two years, and the entire tournament, to blood a group of untried, passionate and hungry players and bring on a new England generation.
It’s not going to happen? What else then? Another qualifying campaign with a flawed squad that – and I can’t be the only one who thinks this – really doesn’t care quite enough about the big prizes.
Watch Chile, Honduras, Switzerland, Ghana, USA, Uruguay, Paraguay, or just about any other team and you’re convinced these players are performing so far above their natural level they’re on the verge of turning inside out.
Watching England never suggests a group trying to play their own legs off. Unless John Terry has just made a tit of himself and is attempting to make amends by hurling himself across the penalty area full-tilt. And that’s more car-crash than anything else.
England reached the final of the Under-21 Euros and won this year’s Under-17 Euros. And it can’t all be down to England’s fascination with bringing in six-foot boys broader than tug-boats and stronger than most men twice their age.
Careers are all about legacies nowadays, it seems. What better legacy than for Capello to discover 23 new or untested players, give them experience of a qualifying and first-round campaign at a serious level and open up a world of options for 2014.